Mussel Fritters Revisited

4 as an entree

PORTIONS

Ingredients

  • 650g cooked mussel meat(1) 
  • 1/2 onion 
  • 1/2 cup chopped parsley 
  • 1 tsp lemon zest (or you can use finely chopped lemon grass) 
  • 2 eggs
 
  • 3 Tbsp mussel cooking water(2)
  • 3 Tbsp standard flour(3) 
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda 
  • 1/2–1 tsp salt generous grind black pepper 
  • canola oil, for cooking

Suggested wine match - 2014 Waipara Hills Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc

From The Food Show 2015.

Method

For some time mussels have been roughly chopped and thrown into batter and a rather thick, meaty mussel fritter has become standard issue in food trucks and fish shops/cafés around the country. This recipe goes back to how your Grandmother made a seafood fritter – a little mincing of the onion and the seafood makes for greater flavour and we celebrate these new favourites.

Place mussel meat in a food processor and very lightly blitz for no more than 1 minute, then place in a bowl.

Blitz onion next, for also 1 minute and no more, and add to bowl.

Add all other ingredients to bowl (except canola oil) and mix well.

Heat oil in a wide shallow pan – you need a generous amount, about 1cm. Get it really hot then drop what size spoonsful of fritter mix into hot oil. Do not overcrowd the pan. The hotter the oil the better – they only need a few minutes to cook – check after 1 minute and turn.

If you find the mix too wet, add a little extra flour.

Place on paper towels then serve with Rodney’s sauce(4) and a slice of fresh lemon.

Notes:

(1) You will need to buy at least 2.5 kg of whole mussels to get this amount of mussel meat. Always select fresh mussels that have not opened. Good news – fresh mussels are only $3.50 per kg so be generous and fill the bag up!

(2) To cook fresh mussels, simply remove beards and place in a large pot with 1 cup water. Cover, and they will open within a few minutes on high heat. Sometimes when cooking a large number of mussels you will find some of them that are crowded in need extra cooking time to open. I usually remove the opened mussels and give the under layer an extra few minutes – but discard any that do not open after this extra stage. Mussel water is used in this recipe and is also a great addition to seafood soup.

(3) Also, if making the fritter mix in advance, you may need to add a little extra flour (say 1-2 tbsp) after it has been sitting in fridge for a few hours.

(4) Serve with Rodney’s Super Tartare Sauce. My cooking buddy Rodney makes this amazing tartare sauce – to 1/2 cup good-quality mayonnaise he adds 1 boiled egg (finely minced), 2 medium gherkins (very finely chopped), 2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley and a good pinch lemon zest. Season with pepper and you can top it with finely chopped fresh chilli if desired for a bit of heat.